As Nepal grapples with constitutional crises, three women take political centerstagehttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/web-edits/as-nepal-grapples-with-constitutional-crises-three-women-take-political-centerstage-2917999/

As Nepal grapples with constitutional crises, three women take political centerstage

From this author Nepal rain kills 14, paralyses normal life13 Jul 2019 Nepal govt says no to Dalai Lama birthday07 Jul 2019 Nepal govt withdraws ‘Guthi Bill’ after protests19 Jun 2019 Three women on the top are being talked about in the political circle as country’s politics hops from one constitutional crisis to another, with […]

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Three women on the top are being talked about in the political circle as country’s politics hops from one constitutional crisis to another, with each getting more and more complex.

Speaker Onsari Gharti will have the honour of presiding over the no-trust motion against the government on July 21, first in the past one decade of political change. She has already come into controversy and criticism from a section of the House for unilaterally deciding not to allow debate or passage of the business other than the no-trust motion, although they had already been agreed upon by the business advisory group. Her move –whether sheer coincidence or under dictate — suits the interest of the Maoist Party that she belongs to, and has moved the no-trust motion against the Oli government. Among other things, she shelved the passage of the finance bills on the last day of the financial year Friday .

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The Maoists, on the other hand, are deeply suspicious of the role of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari who was a prominent leader of Prime Minister K P Oli’ s Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML). Maoist Chief Dahal expressed the fear that the President may even be manipulated by the Prime Minister as she will have a crucial role in interpreting the ambiguity or vagueness in the constitution about the move to follow the possible defeat of the government in the floor of the House. Constitutional experts have come out with conflicting versions about it, and some say there is no provision for election of the new Prime Minister and Oli should be continuing as the care-taker Prime Minister and hold the election to new Parliament. If Bhandari sides with that opinion, that will upset the political ambition of Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal who has already been assured of enough support on his side to succeed Oli.

No doubt, such a move –if at all she takes–will earn the President the wrath of the Political parties, mainly the Maoists , but that also may ultimately go to the Supreme court, headed by Sushila Karki, another woman who was confirmed to the post last week.

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On the past two occasions, dissolution of parliament by Prime Ministers– in first case after the loss of majority had been proven, and in another case after the no-trust motion was tabled but before the floor test took place–extracted two conflicting judgments from the supreme court.

This time around, if Prime Minister Oli follows the past practice of dissolving the House, or if the President asks him to continue as a care-taker even after he lost the vote of confidence, CJ Sushila Karki will be the deciding authority!